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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Day 10: What do you hate and love about the subculture?

A tiny note: to the blogger who has been subtly editing my posts (namely this one and this one) and re-posting them, please don't. I have been enjoying your blog but I would prefer not to see my own work there without permission or credits. I have not named or linked to you and your startlingly familiar-looking posts but will do so if this continues. Thanks.

Day Ten - What do you hate and love about the subculture?

I hate elitism. I figure that to a certain extent that those who have been around in the scene since the 80s or before have a certain right to roll their eyes at the rest of us floundering newbies, but I don't like it when younger Goths or other know-it-alls go about denouncing strangers on the internet or at a club as 'not real Goths' because of silly little things like a fashion choice or a band they like. (Similarly, I do frown at blog taglines such as '98% of things referred to as Goth are dreadful, this is for the 2% of brilliant', because whilst promoting your own aesthetic is a fun thing to do - I do it all the time - there's no need to go shitting on what other people like.)

It is extremely difficult to 'get Goth wrong' (not including fashion mistakes, which we all make from time to time...). Enjoying dark music (including, preferably, some actual Goth bands...), fashion, and probably art and literature - I'm not even sure how it's possible to get that wrong. I'd go so far as to say that everyone who ticks the above boxes and wants to be 'a Goth' is, in fact, a 'real Goth' (even if they are a faintly obnoxious person; Goths are generally nice people, yes, but at the same time they are people, and not all people who like dark music and black clothes are going to be charming or friendly) - it's not like you have to pass an entrance exam!

So those who get up on their high horse and go about denouncing others as 'not real Goths' usually only succeed in making themselves look insecure, snobby, and really a little bit sad.

For me on my usual club visits, you could tick 'reluctant non-Goth friend' and, embarrassingly, 'stripper dance'.
Source: Gothic Charm School on Tumblr
What do I love about the subculture? So many things, but here are a few! Firstly the reassurance that hey, liking cemeteries in winter, flickering candlelight, shlocky horror B-movies, bats, music in a minor key, Halloween, faerie tales and all things spooky is actually more normal than the mainstream would have us believe - in school such things tend to earn one the 'weirdo' moniker, but when you go on to discover the Goth community and discover that there are tens of thousands of people who share similar interests and fascinations you soon realise that you're not weird or a 'freak', you're just a different blend of normal with a different perspective on the world...

Secondly, the aesthetic is a big draw for me. I love what could be described as the 'basic' Goth look - black, boots, lace etc - but I also enjoy the fact that you can mix'n'match styles from other subcultures that you appreciate (hence the crossovers with steampunk, Lolita etc.) so there is a constant and endless variety of looks that you can create and experiment with. I love being experimental, although I don't always get it right.

Thirdly (and this one is shallow!), the fact that in a Goth club I can dance like an idiot (I will get Dan to video me sometime; I'm really not the greatest dancer but unfortunately for my fellow club-goers I do love to dance!) and no one stares or comments! Locally at least, there is usually a handful of really brilliant dancers, one or two total train wrecks, and then the rest of us who fall somewhere in between. Which means I never have to feel self-conscious. ;-)

3 comments:

Nightwind said...

Amy said, " but I don't like it when younger Goths or other know-it-alls go about denouncing strangers on the internet or at a club as 'not real Goths' because of silly little things like a fashion choice or a band they like."

I suppose that this is one of my pet pieves as well. All too often I've seen comments like the one above.

"What? You like Theatre of Tragedy more than Bauhaus? You're not goth."

We're all individuals with our own unique tastes in music and dress. All I can say is that those who are so quick to judge must be awfully insecure.

akumaxkami said...

I agree with you about the elitism thing.

Black Rose said...

Sadly, this always happens.
All the same, these stupid squabbles won't affect the enduring beauty of the Dark.
The Dark is eternal.
Why wastetime doing anything but enjoy it?

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